Last week during the State of the Union, wondermom put up this post about her conversation with her 4 year old son, who happens to be my favorite 4 year old ‘nephew’:
Mommy who is that man?
That is the President of the United States of America. He is the most powerful man in the world.
Ooooh! He can scare away bears?
In nephew1’s world bears are a very real threat, and they are all around. All the time. We’ve actually spent quite a bit of time playing together and I can attest that the living room is in fact, always under constant threat of bear attacks. Fortunately, his parents and ‘uncle’ have spent plenty of time equipping him with the courage to ward off these bears, along with a healthy dose of fear of what we might refer to as ‘real’ bears.
I’m not making fun of nephew1. When I was in pre-school I had a very big fear of avalanches. Some (mi madre) may say that fear was unwarranted living in the middle of San Diego, but to me the threat of an avalanche was very real at the time. My guess is I had seen a movie on tv with an avalanche, or something on the news, maybe even an old episode of G.I. Joe, that had me all worked up. Whatever the case, I knew avalanches were dangerous, and I did NOT want to be anywhere near one.
I remember one of the first times I prayed on my own before going to bed, I prayed that God would keep me safe from avalanches. I knew God was big, I knew He created the Earth, so I assumed He could handle the threat of avalanches with ease. Over the years that prayer changed as I grew to realize that San Diego was in fact, an avalanche free city. Whew.
It’s easy to look back at past fears and trials and laugh. It’s also easy to look back at our prayers and see our own naivety. We chuckle at the thought of worrying about avalanches or bears, but forget that at one point in time, they seemed like a very real threat.
There are things right now that are on my heart that seem like very real dangers. Past experience has told me that they probably won’t end up being a big deal, but wouldn’t it be a shame if I took the attitude that these things were not important enough to pray about now?
I think one of the reasons that Jesus called us to have “faith like a child” is because God wants to hear the prayers that are important to us now. It doesn’t matter how much of a grasp we have on the world around us, or a lack thereof. Personally, I tend to complicate, or try to over-analyze what is, and isn’t prayer-worthy, and often end up convincing myself that I shouldn’t waste God’s time with what probably seems trivial to Him. All the while, I’m missing one of the fundamental aspects of prayer: God’s desire for us to have a relationship with HIm where we feel free to share anything that is on our heart.
Even bears and avalanches.
One love, one heart